• synonyms


See more synonyms for transformer on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that transforms.
  2. Electricity. an electric device consisting essentially of two or more windings wound on the same core, which by electromagnetic induction transforms electric energy from one set of one or more circuits to another set of one or more circuits such that the frequency of the energy remains unchanged while the voltage and current usually change.
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Origin of transformer

First recorded in 1595–1605; transform + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for transformer

cylinder, generator, transformer, turbine, tool, appliance, instrument, motor, weapon, diesel, mechanism, piston, adjective, adverb, conditioner, apparatus, means, pot, fan, contrivance

Examples from the Web for transformer

Contemporary Examples of transformer

Historical Examples of transformer

  • You know what a transformer does, but what does the name by itself convey?

    By Proxy

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • This knob here controls a condenser, and this one a transformer.

  • And all the while the humming of the transformer as the force field built up.


    Clifford Donald Simak

  • The former is called "step-up" while the latter is a "step-down" transformer.


    Willis Eugene Tower

  • It is an induced current produced by a transformer placed near the house.


    Willis Eugene Tower

British Dictionary definitions for transformer


  1. a device that transfers an alternating current from one circuit to one or more other circuits, usually with an increase (step-up transformer) or decrease (step-down transformer) of voltage. The input current is fed to a primary winding, the output being taken from a secondary winding or windings inductively linked to the primary
  2. a person or thing that transforms
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for transformer


"device to reduce electrical currents," 1883, from French transformateur (1882); see transform.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

transformer in Science


  1. A device used to change the voltage of an alternating current in one circuit to a different voltage in a second circuit, or to partially isolate two circuits from each other. Transformers consist of two or more coils of conducting material, such as wire, wrapped around a core (often made of iron). The magnetic field produced by an alternating current in one coil induces a similar current in the other coils.♦ If there are fewer turns on the coil that carries the source of the power than there are on a second coil, the second coil will provide the same power but at a higher voltage. This is called a step-up transformer. ♦ If there are fewer turns on the second coil than on the source coil, the outgoing power will have a lower voltage. This is called a step-down transformer. Compare converter rectifier.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

transformer in Culture


A device used to transfer electrical energy from one circuit to another. With an alternating current, a transformer will either raise or lower the voltage as it makes the transfer.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.